Before we had the internet at our fingertips, players had to call up companies and ask for some assistance when they got stuck in a video game. One Nintendo game a lot of people found a little confusing at times was the 1994 title, Super Metroid.
Back in the day of the Nintendo Power hotline, gameplay counselors were using a "forbidden map" to help guide players through Super Metroid. According to Twitter user ArtofNP (also known as Archon 1981 on YouTube), the map was drawn by a Japanese developer, and Nintendo of America couldn't confirm if it was entirely accurate. It turns out it wasn't, either.
As highlighted by Twitter user vervalkon, this particular map features a room that isn't in any version of the final game:
This still wasn't enough to stop Nintendo's hotline counselors from sneaking the map into their information binders to help guide players. The map itself is believed to be based on an earlier build of Super Metroid, and while Nintendo may not have approved of it at the time, we're sure many fans would love to hang this on their wall nowadays. If you look closely, you can even see a tiny version of Kraid.
Have you ever required some extra help in a video game before? Tell us below.
[source usgamer.net, via gonintendo.com]
That's not where the real secret room is.
Imagine kids ringing up Nintendo Services, "HEY, I NEED HELP BEATING BOWSSSER."
Did the US not get the huge players guide bundled free with it like we did in Europe? That had the full map listed.
How do we buy this and how much does it cost? I use to have a cool map for my game, but this would be amazing since it's from the developers.
@Zenszulu If I remember correctly that was sold separately. Though we did get the bundle treatment for Earthbound.
@Wilforce look at you and your fancy rpgs on the Snes
For the release of Metroid Prime 4, I hope Nintendo partners with Dark Horse for a Metroid Art book like they have for the Zelda and Mario. This seems like the perfect thing to go in there.
That is actually amazing! Sometimes I wish the internet never became a thing just so things like this could still exist.
Though no internet would mean the un-existence of plenty of other things... including this site... yeah, maybe not. XD
@TheLightSpirit look in any comment thread and you’ll see them.
I love this type of stuff, the lore in the Nintendo hotline. Wish I could’ve worked there during that time!
@Zenszulu I wish I had Earthbound. Unfortunately I did not have enough money at the time and by the time I realized the SNES was quickly on its way out the game was sold out everywhere.
Link to the Past Dark World to get into the main temple in the lost woods. Use a newfound item.
Illusion of Gaia, Angel Village hidden passages. Follow the wind.
@NoNoseNosferatu Is user drama like that really necessary?
I absolutely love love love this article. I miss the old days
I always wanted/want to draw my own map on grid paper.
I remember actually phoning them a couple of times for some cheat codes. God, i must have been like 10 and most defenately did not have the bill payers permission 😂
They would also send spare boxes and instruction manuals out as well. They had the "display box" where the barcode was but apart from that they were identical to the origional. Replaced quite a few of mine.
It must have been so frustrating for those companies that players were calling all the time. Monkey Island 2 even had a joke about it (to progress in the game at one point Guybrush has to use a phone booth to call LucasArts helpline).
@Priceless_Spork enlighten us? You clearly know something that decades of speedrunners and expert players don’t.
@SmaggTheSmug yeah, but it’s not like players were just calling the company and getting a dev on the phone. There were dedicated hotlines, that cost extra money per minute, that were manned by someone the payroll whose specific job was to help players through games. This is all pre-internet. Only other options were a magazine or a game guide in the form of a magazine like book.
Welcome to nintento hotline. Calls are charged at 50p a minute. 😊 I think i did call for orcarina of time.
Could have sworn some maps were just in issues of nintendo power. Like on the back of the poster.
Cool trivia, mad props Nintendo Life. I just adapted this story for the Italian site I'm working for.
As far as maps "to hang on the wall" are concerned, however, Bill Mudron is the right guy.
As someone born in 1993 I really did not get to experience these hotlines. I was lucky enough to have a PC running Windows 98 and went to GameFAQs when I was stuck. I still remember being stuck in Final Fantasy IX, having the strategy guide (which was notorious for how incomplete it was) and visiting that site often to beat the game.
Funny thing is thanks to YouTube and video guides, even sites like GameFAQs seem to be close to irrelevant in modern times.
Me and my friend Chad used to call the Nintendo Hotline. They were ALWAYS so nice. And it was a free call. And then we started buying the Nintendo Power strategy guides when they started coming out. Couldn't have beaten Super Mario 3 without it.
But now I have the world wide web. I kind of miss the simple days.
I was with a friend when he called the Nintendo hotline (which was a 900 number, not free, at least at the time) because we couldn't beat the boss of Level 5 in Blaster Master. He insisted that we use the grenade pause glitch, even though it only works on the bosses of levels 2, 4, 6, and 7. He promised that if we couldn't get it to work we were doing it wrong. Neither my friend nor I ever called them again.
I miss Metroid...
I still keep the huge map me and my brother made for the pirate NES port of the SNES "Jurassic Park" game. We had all the dinos, collectibles, etc marked too, as well as maps for all the buildings in the game. Good times!
@Wexter The Hye day of these hotlines really was in the mid-90s around the late NES, SNES times. by the late 90s sure they did exist but I think even console players would mostly look stuff up online.
@AlexSora89 I've seen that Zelda map a couple times before, but these other ones are just as amazing. Definitely going to look a little deeper into this artist. Thanks!
@TheLightSpirit wonderful game.
I remember when my big sis was playing zelda on the nes she always had this huge ass map on her lap while playing, I was maybe 3 yrs old at the time so I dont remember if it was a map that came with the game or if she made it herself
I made an account just to say that's not kraid that's homer Simpson
@TheLightSpirit look in your blocklist. He’s got a Linkle profile pic.
@ReaperExTenebris Agreed. Like I love I can keep in touch with all of my friends around the world instantly. But sometimes I miss just being able to disconnect and enjoy something. Like I'm purposefully trying to avoid any Animal Crossing articles about anything until I think I've completed something. Like for bunny day, i didn't read anything until after I THOUGHT I had everything for it last Sunday. Then I checked, and I did. Pssshew.
Imagine wasting your money calling Nintendo and saying, "I need your help! I can't beat Cheetahman!" And the Counselor is like, "That game has no ending. It's unbeatable. That'll be $3.95."
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